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6 nominations! Finally, she's back in the AOTY category. :)  Going for win #3.  🤞   Also, Taylor is the first woman to receive 5 nominations in the SOTY category.  👏

 

 

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28 minutes ago, Toups said:

6 nominations! Finally, she's back in the AOTY category. :)  Going for win #3.  🤞   Also, Taylor is the first woman to receive 5 nominations in the SOTY category.  👏

I mean, she’s almost certainly going to win. Shameful that The Weeknd was snubbed. 

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3 hours ago, Faulkner said:

I mean, she’s almost certainly going to win. Shameful that The Weeknd was snubbed. 

 

She's definitely the odds on favourite to win, however, upsets happen and Taylor's been on both ends.  In 2010, she upset Gaga and Beyonce.  In 2014, Daft Punk upset Taylor and Kendrick Lamar.    The Weeknd getting 0 nominations was a shock.  I had Blinding Lights winning ROTY because it's easily the biggest hit on 2020 but not even getting a nomination was ridiculous. 

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On 7/23/2020 at 7:21 PM, Toups said:

I'm curious who "William Bowery" is - he co-wrote 2 songs.  If he's credited on "Betty" then it has to be her boyfriend Joe Alwyn.  Joe's mom's name is Elizabeth and his great-grandfather was named William.  And they went to see a Kings of Leon concert at the Bowery Hotel when they started dating. 

 

 

Called it! :)   I love that piano piece at the beginning of 'exile' - can't believe Joe create that, and the first verse.   I would not be surprise if they wrote more songs together in the future. 

 

 

 

 

 

The Long Pond Studio Session was so good!  Taylor, Aaron Dessner and Jack Antonoff play the entire album in Aaron's studio, and they talk a bit about each song.  Here's the link to download it for those who don't have Disney+ :):

 

https://eu.cdn.ir-cdn.xyz/dl/1/454913/437266/300370/302f253b46cdcce18182f2cea79482fe1c/movies/f/Folklore_The_Long_Pond_Studio_Sessions_2020_720p_WEB-DL_5.1CH_Tars_30NAMA.mkv

 

 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, damn! And I thought I was surprised after the first surprise record not even five months ago!

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Wow!! She's been giving out clues for a couple of weeks now, but NOBODY guessed it would be a new album because that's crazy.  LOL   Most people were guessing a music video for Exile or August (she mentioned she was shooting a music video when the election was called for Biden), or a collaboration with Paul McCartney.  She posted another "not a lot going on at the moment" picture but that was days before the Long Pond Studio Session, so we just assumed it was for that, and nobody thought about a new album even though that was the same clue she posted for folklore.   I wonder if these songs are ones that didn't make the folklore cut or if these were written and produced after folklore - if they were, maybe they were recorded in September when Jack/Taylor/Aaron were together and did the Long Pond Studio Session.   In any case, we are definitely the luckiest fan base.  She's so amazing to us.  

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evermore is definitely more "indie" and has less "pop" sounding songs than folklore (I'm a pop guy so I'm just a little bit disappointed in that respect).  I guess this is because Aaron Dessner produced 14 out of the 15 songs.  Jack Antonoff only did 1 song.   "dorothea" was the first song written for the album, and "happiness" was the last (it was finished just last week). 

 

So here were my rankings after one listen:

 

1. marjorie

2. no body, no crime

3. tolerate it

4. dorothea

5. ‘tis the damn season

6. champagne problems

7. happiness

8. evermore

9. long story short

10. gold rush

11. cowboy like me

12. willow

13. ivy

14. coney island

15. closure

 

After a couple of listens this list has changed. LOL  I'll post my one week, and one month rankings.  

 

 

 

What a great tribute to her grandmother!  It's so relatable and made my tear up thinking about my own grandparents who are gone. 

 

 

 

 

 

This was a fun song.  LOL

 

 

 

Aaron Dessner's post on Instagram: It’s only been 5 months since folklore was released. But truth be told @taylorswift and I never actually stopped exchanging ideas and somehow we've finished a sister record called evermore that I love just as much. These songs are wilder and freer, sometimes in strange time signatures and darker hues, but very much a continuation of what we started with folklore. I can't begin to express my gratitude and respect for Taylor -- I never cease to wonder at her seemingly boundless talent as a singer and a songwriter and storyteller. It’s been the experience of a lifetime to work so fast and furiously with her. As with folklore, @jackantonoff, @blobtower and William Bowery all contributed brilliant ideas and songwriting — the same alchemy and teamwork continued. This time my brother @brycedessner contributed much more as well— helping write and produce Coney Island and orchestrating the entire record. I’ve never done anything creatively of any value without Bryce helping to elevate it, as he does here again. As important, @heyjonlow has been my brother in all of this work too -- I could never have conceived of this without him by my side every step of the way. And Justin @blobtower , who has taught me so much, is here again too, lending his insane talents. If that wasn’t enough, my bandmates in @thenational , Matt, Bryan and Scott along with Bryce, are here too. We learned to write songs and make records together. Hearing Matt sing with Taylor and the entire band perform on Coney Island — things have come full circle.
And there are so many other friends who have made very significant contributions to this record (more later on them later)

 

 

 

 

 

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Rankings after one week

 

 

 

1. long story short (+8)

2. no body, no crime (same)

3. dorothea (+1)

4. ‘tis the damn season (+1)

5. Marjorie (-4)

6. ivy (+7)

7. champagne problems (-1)

8. tolerate it (-5)

9. willow (+3)

10. cowboy like me (+1)

11. gold rush (-1)

12. happiness (-5)

13. evermore (-6)

14. coney island (same)

15. closure (same)

 

 

First week numbers for evermore: Taylor Swift’s ‘Evermore’ Arrives at No. 1 on Billboard 200 Albums Chart

 

Of Evermore’s 329,000 equivalent album units earned in the tracking week ending Dec. 17, SEA units comprise nearly 167,000 (equaling 220.49 million on-demand streams of the album’s songs), album sales comprise 154,000 and TEA units comprise a little under 8,000.

 

 

It's the biggest week under Billboard 200's new rules.  And these numbers don't include any physical albums since those were released on the 18th. 

 

 

 

 

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Fantastic 1 hour interview with Zane Lowe (he's such a good interviewer): youtube link

 

Here's Variety's recap of that interview: Taylor Swift Opens Up About the Creation of ‘Evermore’

 

Excerpt:

Writing “Folklore” during quarantine led the songwriter to surprise release it shortly after the project came together. The week after its release, however, she decided to keep going. Five months later, “Evermore” is out for the world to stream, but Swift is ready to close the book on this two-part series.

 

“I feel differently today than I felt the day after releasing ‘Folklore’ because, even the day after releasing ‘Folklore,’ Aaron and I were still bouncing ideas back and forth and we just knew we were gonna keep writing music,” she said. “With this one I have this feeling of sort of quiet conclusion and sort of this weird serenity of we did what we set out to do and we’re all really proud of it, and that feels really really nice.

 

Virtually every song on Swift’s first seven studio albums can be traced back to a moment from the artist’s own life. But she chose to forego the well-trodden path to success with “Folklore,” sharing instead a host of stories about people or places she made up.

 

With the subjects’ stories unfamiliar to her own personal life, Swift shifted gears into a form of storytelling that kept her own experiences more private. “Folklore” earned critical and commercial success in its first week, letting Swift know that the quarantine outlet she had picked up was appreciated by others stuck at home, as well.“

 

My world felt opened up creatively,” she said. “There was a point that I got to as a writer who only wrote very diaristic songs that I felt it was unsustainable for my future moving forward. So what I felt after we put out ‘Folklore’ was like ‘oh wow, people are into this too, this thing that feels really good for my life and feels really good for my creativity… it feels good for them too?”

 

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I thought maybe some of the songs on evermore were ones that didn't make that cut on folklore but they were all made after folklore's release. 

 

With the success of both albums, she can now continue writing made up stories/characters.  It was really smart of her to change directions like this now that she's in her 30's. 

 

From Aaron's interview, there's a very good chance Taylor will be on on the next Big Red Machine album. 

 

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Rolling Stone interview with Aaron Dessner: Aaron Dessner on How His Collaborative Chemistry With Taylor Swift Led to ‘Evermore’

 

Billboard Intervew: Aaron Dessner on the 'Weird Avalanche' That Resulted in Taylor Swift's 'Evermore'

 

Article is on a paywall, so I'll post it in the spoiler tag. 

 

 

Taylor Swift and Aaron Dessner didn’t expect to make another record so soon after Folklore. As they were putting the final touches on Swift’s album this past summer, the two artists had been collaborating remotely on possible songs for Big Red Machine, Dessner’s music project with Justin Vernon of Bon Iver (who also dueted with Swift on the Folklore track “Exile”).

 

“I think I’d written around 30 of those instrumentals in total,” Dessner recalls. “So when I started sharing them with Taylor over the months that we were working on Folklore, she got really into it, and she wrote two songs to some of that music.”

 

One was “Closure,” an experimental electronic track in 5/4 time signature that was built over a staccato drum kit. The other song was “Dorothea,” a rollicking, Americana piano tune. The more Dessner listened to them, the more he realized that they were continuations of Folklore‘s characters and stories. But the real turning point came soon after Folklore‘s surprise release in late July, when Dessner wrote a musical sketch and named it “Westerly,” after the town in Rhode Island where Swift owns the house previously occupied by Rebekah Harkness.

 

“I didn’t really think she would write something to it — sometimes I’ll name songs after my friends’ hometowns or their babies, just because I write a lot of music and you have to call it something, and then I’ll send it to them,” Dessner says. “But, anyway, I sent it to her, and not long after she wrote ‘Willow’ to that song and sent it back.”

 

It was a moment not unlike when Swift first sent him the song “Cardigan” back in the spring, where both she and Dessner felt an instant creative spark — and then just kept writing. Before long, they were creating even more songs with Vernon, Jack Antonoff, Dessner’s brother Bryce, and “William Bowery” (the pseudonym of Swift’s boyfriend Joe Alwyn) for what would eventually lead to Folklore‘s wintry sister record, Evermore.

 

Even more spontaneous than the album that preceded it, Evermore features more eclectic production alongside Swift’s continued project of character-driven songwriting, and includes an even wider group of collaborators, like Haim and Dessner’s own band the National. Dessner spoke to Rolling Stone about the album’s experimentation, how it was recorded during the making of the doc The Long Pond Studio Sessions, and how he sees his collaboration with Swift continuing in the future.

 

When did you realize this was going to end up being another album?

It was after we’d written several [songs], seven or eight or nine. Each one would happen, and we would both be in this sort of disbelief of this weird alchemy that we had unleashed. The ideas were coming fast and furiously and were just as compelling as anything on Folklore, and it felt like the most natural thing in the world. At some point, Taylor wrote “Evermore” with William Bowery, and then we sent it to Justin, who wrote the bridge, and all of a sudden, that’s when it started to become clear that there was a sister record. Historically, there are examples of this, of records which came in close succession that I love — certain Dylan records, Kid A and Amnesiac. I secretly fell in love with the idea that this was part of the same current, and that these were two manifestations that were interrelated. And with Taylor, I think it just became clear to her what was happening. It really picked up steam, and at some point, there were 17 songs — because there are two bonus tracks, which I love just as much.

 

Evermore definitely sounds more experimental than Folklore, and has more variety you have these electronic songs that sound like Bon Iver or Big Red Machine, but you also have the closest thing Taylor has written to country songs in the last decade. Was there a conscious effort on her part to branch out more with this album?

Sonically, the ideas were coming from me more. But I remember when I wrote the piano track to “Tolerate It,” right before I sent it to her, I thought, This song is intense. It’s in 10/8, which is an odd time signature. And I did think for a second, “Maybe I shouldn’t send it to her, she won’t be into it.” But I sent it to her, and it conjured a scene in her mind, and she wrote this crushingly beautiful song to it and sent it back. I think I cried when I first heard it. But it just felt like the most natural thing, you know? There weren’t limitations to the process. And in these places where we were pushing into more experimental sounds or odd time signatures, that just felt like part of the work.

 

It was really impressive to me that she could tell these stories as easily in something like “Closure” as she could in a country song like “Cowboy Like Me.” Obviously, “Cowboy Like Me” is much more familiar, musically. But to me, she’s just as sharp and just as masterful in her craft in either of those situations. And also, just in terms of what we were interested in, there is a wintry nostalgia to a lot of the music that was intentional on my part. I was leaning into the idea that this was fall and winter, and she’s talked about that as well, that Folklore feels like spring and summer to her and Evermore is fall and winter. So that’s why you hear sleigh bells on “Ivy,” or why some of the imagery in the songs is wintery.

 

I can hear that in the guitar on “‘Tis the Damn Season,” too. It almost sounds like the National with that very icy guitar line.

I mean, that is literally like, me in my most natural state. [laughs] If you hand me a guitar, that’s what it sounds like when I start playing it. People associate that sound with the National, but that’s just because I finger-pick an electric guitar like that a lot — if you solo the guitar on “Mr. November,” it’s not unlike that.

 

That song, to me, has always felt nostalgic or like some sort of longing. And the song that Taylor wrote is so instantly relatable, you know, “There’s an ache in you put there by the ache in me.” I remember when she sang that to me in my kitchen — she had written it overnight during The Long Pond Studio Sessions, actually.

 

Did she record all her Evermore vocals at Long Pond while you were filming the Studio Sessions documentary?

Not all of them, but most of them. She stayed after we were done filming and then we recorded a lot. It was crazy because we were getting ready to make that film, but at the same time, these songs were accumulating. And so we thought, “Hmm, I guess we should just stay and work.”

 

On “Closure,” there are parts where Taylor’s vocals are filtered through the Messina, which is this vocal modifier that Justin Vernon uses a lot in his work with Bon Iver. How were you able to modify her vocals with it, if she was never in the same room as Justin?

I went to see Justin at one point — that’s the one trip I’ve made — and we worked together at his place on stuff. He plays the drums on “Cowboy Like Me” and “Closure,” and he plays guitar and banjo and sings on “Ivy,” and sings on “Marjorie” and “Evermore.” And then we processed Taylor’s vocals through his Messina chain together. He was really deeply involved in this record, even more so than the last record. He’s always been such a huge help to me, and not just by getting him to play stuff or sing stuff — I can also send him things and get his feedback. We’ve done a ton of work together, but we have different perspectives and different harmonic brains. He obviously has his own studio set up at home, but it was nice to be able to see him and work on this stuff.

 

“No Body, No Crime” is also really interesting, just because I don’t think I’ve ever heard you produce a song like that. How did this country murder ballad featuring Haim end up on the record?

Taylor wrote that one alone and sent me a voice memo of her playing guitar — she wrote it on this rubber-bridge guitar that I got for her. It’s the same kind I play on “Invisible String.” So she wrote “No Body, No Crime” and sent me a voice memo of it, and then I started building on that. It’s funny, because the music I’ve listened to the most in my life are things that are more like that — roots music, folk music, country music, old-school rock & roll, the Grateful Dead. It’s not really the sound of the National or other things I’ve done, but it feels like a warm blanket.

 

That song also had a lot of my friends on it — Josh Kaufman, who played harmonica on “Betty,” also plays harmonica on this one and some guitar. JT Bates plays the drums on that song — he’s an amazing jazz guitarist, but he also has an incredible feel [for rhythm] when it comes to a song like that. He also played the drums on “Dorothea.” And then Taylor had specific ideas from the beginning about references and how she wanted it to feel, and that she wanted the Haim sisters to sing on it. We had them record the song with Ariel Reichshaid, they sent that from L.A., and then we put it together when Taylor was here [at Long Pond]. They’re an incredible band, and it was another situation where we were like, “Well, this happened.” It felt like this weird little rock & roll history anecdote.

 

You also brought on the National to record “Coney Island.” What was that process like, where you’re recording a song with your band that’s for a different artist?

I had been working on a bunch of music with my brother [Bryce Dessner], some of which we were sending to Taylor also. At that stage, “Coney Island” was all the music except the drums. And as I was writing it, I don’t think I was ever thinking, “This sounds like the National or this sounds like Big Red Machine or this sounds like something totally different.” But Taylor and William Bowery wrote this incredible song, and we first recorded it with just her vocals. It has this really beautiful arc to the story, and I think it’s one of the strongest, lyrically and musically. But listening to the words, we all collectively realized that this does feel like the most related to the National — it almost feels like a story Matt [Berninger] might tell, or I could hear Bryan [Devendorf] playing the drum part.

 

So we started talking about how it would be cool to get the band, and I called Matt and he was excited for it. We got Bryan to play drums and we got Scott [Devendorf] to play bass and a pocket piano, and Bryce helped produce it. It’s weird, because it does really feel like Taylor, obviously, since she and William Bowery wrote all the words, but it also feels like a National song in a good way. I love how Matt and Taylor sound together. And it was nice because we haven’t played a show in a year, and I don’t know when we will again. You kind of lose track of each other, so in a way, it was nice to reconnect.

 

When working on Folklore, you had to keep most of your collaborators in the dark about who you were working with. What was the process like this time around, now that everyone knew it was Taylor? How did you keep it a secret?

It was hard. We had to be secretive because of how much people are consuming every shred of information they can find about her, and that’s been an oppressive reality she’s had to deal with. But the fact that no one in the public knew allowed for more freedom of enjoying the process. A lot of the same musicians that played on Folklore played on Evermore. Again, it was a situation where I didn’t tell them what it was, and they couldn’t hear her vocals, but I think a lot of them assumed, especially because of the level of secrecy. [laughs] But as funny as this is, I think everyone who’s been involved has been grateful for these records to play on this year and is proud of them. It kind of just doesn’t happen, to make two great records in such a short period of time. Everyone’s a little bit like, “How did this happen?” and nobody takes it for granted.

 

Taylor has mentioned that you recorded “Happiness” just a week before the album was released. Was that something you guys wrote, recorded, and produced all at the last minute, or was it something you’d been sitting on for a while before you finally cracked the code?

There were two songs like that. One is a bonus track called “Right Where You Left Me,” and the other one was “Happiness,” which she wrote literally days before we were supposed to master. That’s similar to what happened with Folklore, with “The 1” and “Hoax,” which she wrote days before. We mixed all the tracks here, and it’s a lot to mix 17 songs, it’s like a Herculean task. And it was funny, because I walked into the studio and Jon Low, our engineer here, was mixing and had been working the whole time toward this. And I came in and he’s in the middle of mixing and I was like, “There are two more songs.” And he looked at me like, “…We’re not gonna make it.” Because it does take a lot of time to work out how to finish them.

 

But she sang those remotely. And the music for “Happiness” is something that I had been working on since last year. I had sang a little bit on it, too — I thought it was a Big Red Machine song, but then she loved the instrumental and ended up writing to it. Same with the other one, “Right Where You Left Me” — it was something I had written right before I went to visit Justin, because I thought, “Maybe we’ll make something when we’re together there.” And Taylor had heard that and wrote this amazing song to it. That is a little bit how she works — she writes a lot of songs, and then at the very end she sometimes writes one or two more, and they often are important ones.

 

My favorite song on the album is “Marjorie,” and I feel like, for most artists, the instinct would be to present a song like that as a somber piano ballad. But “Marjorie” has this lively electronic beat that runs through it — it literally sounds alive. How did you come up with that?

 

It’s interesting, because with “Marjorie,” that’s a track that actually existed for a while, and you can hear elements of it behind the song “Peace.” This weird drone that you hear on “Peace,” if you pay attention to the bridge of “Marjorie,” you’ll hear a little bit of that in the distance. Some of what you hear is from my friend Jason Treuting playing percussion, playing these chord sticks, that he actually made for a piece that my brother wrote called “Music for Wooden Strings.” They’re playing these chord sticks, and you can hear those same chord sticks on the National song “Quiet Light.”

 

I collect a lot of rhythmic elements like that, and all kinds of other sounds, and I give them to my friend Ryan Olson, who’s a producer from Minnesota and has been developing this crazy software called Allovers Hi-Hat Generator. It can take sounds, any sounds, and split them into identifiable sound samples, and then regenerate them in randomized patterns that are weirdly very musical. There’s a lot of new Big Red Machine songs that use those elements. But I’ll go through it and find little parts that I like and loop them. That’s how I made the backing rhythm of “Marjorie.” Then I wrote a song to it, and Taylor wrote to that. In a weird way, it’s one of the most experimental songs on the album — it doesn’t sound that way, but when you pick apart the layers underneath it, it’s pretty interesting.

 

I do have to ask: How did you come to find out about William Bowery’s real identity as Joe Alwyn? Or did you know all along?

I guess I can say now that I’ve sort of known all along — I was just being careful. Although we never really explicitly talked about it. But I do think it’s been really special to see a number of songs on these albums that they wrote together. William plays the piano on “Evermore,” actually. We recorded that remotely. That was really important to me and to them, to do that, because he also wrote the piano part of “Exile,” but on the record, it’s me playing it because we couldn’t record him easily. But this time, we could. I just think it’s an important and special part of the story.

 

Do you have a personal favorite song or a moment that you’re proudest of?

“‘Tis the Damn Season” is a really special song to me for a number of reasons. When I wrote the music to it, which was a long time ago, I remember thinking that this is one of my favorite things I’ve ever made, even though it’s an incredibly simple musical sketch. But it has this arc to it, and there’s this simplicity in the minimalism of it and the kind of drum programming in there, and I always loved the tone of that guitar. When Taylor played the track and sang it to me in my kitchen, that was a highlight of this whole time. That track felt like something I have always loved and could have just stayed music, but instead, someone of her incredible storytelling ability and musical ability took it and made something much greater. And it’s something that we can all relate to. It was a really special moment, not unlike how it felt when she wrote “Peace,” but even more so.

 

Do you see this collaboration with Taylor continuing onward, to more albums or Big Red Machine projects?

It’s kind of the thing where I have so many musicians in my life that I’ve grown close to, and make things with, and are just part of my life. And I’ve rarely had this kind of chemistry with anyone in my life — to be able to write together, to make so many beautiful songs together in such a short period of time. Inevitably, I think we will continue to be in each other’s artistic and personal lives. I don’t know exactly what the next form that will take, but certainly, it will continue.

 

I do think this story, this era, has concluded, and I think in such a beautiful way with these sister records — it does kind of feel like there’s closure to that. But she’s definitely been very helpful and engaged with Big Red Machine, and just in general. She feels like another incredible musician that I’ve gotten to know and am lucky to have in my life. It’s this whole community that moves forward and takes risks and, hopefully, there will be other records that appear in the future.

[/quote]

 

 

Here's Aaron's interview with Billboard: Aaron Dessner on the 'Weird Avalanche' That Resulted in Taylor Swift's 'Evermore'

 

 

The indie-folk project -- which was created remotely, with the multi-hyphenate Dessner putting the pieces together at Long Pond -- became Swift’s only album to spend its first six weeks atop the Billboard 200. It earned Dessner two Grammy nominations, both in Big Four categories, for album of the year and song of the year (for "Cardigan”). It also ushered in a new songwriting style for Swift: first-person fiction.

On the last night of filming the special (a process that was done while following CDC guidelines, with a limited crew and COVID-19 testing), Dessner recalls how he, Antonoff and Swift stayed up until 4:00 or 5:00 a.m. -- drinking and celebrating the more-than-warm embrace Folklore had received. But in the days that followed, Swift ended up staying, and she and Dessner unexpectedly continued working. Eventually, they had 17 more songs, all of which became the sister album, Evermore, released on Dec. 11.

 

Folklore almost immediately was treated as a classic or a masterpiece,” says Dessner. “It was elevated fairly quickly and had been commercially really successful, so obviously it’s hard to follow something like that up. But one of the things I love about [Evermore] is the ways in which [Taylor] was jumping off different cliffs. The ability she has to tell these stories, but also push what she’s doing musically, is really kind of astonishing. It’s like I went to some crash course, some masters program, for six months.”

 

Below, Dessner tells Billboard all about the work that went into his second album in five months with one of the world's biggest pop stars.

With Folklore a lot of the production and arrangements came from a folder you had sent Taylor. Did you continue to pull from there, or was Evermore made from scratch?

A lot more of it was made from scratch. After Folklore came out, I think Taylor had written two songs early on that we both thought were for Big Red Machine, “Closure” and “Dorothea.” But the more I listened to them, not that they couldn’t be Big Red Machine songs, but they felt like interesting, exciting Taylor songs. “Closure” is very experimental and in this weird time signature, but still lyrically felt like some evolution of Folklore, and “Dorothea” definitely felt like it was reflecting on some character.

 

And I, sort of in celebration of Folklore, had written a piece of music that I titled “Westerly,” that’s where she has the house that she wrote “Last Great American Dynasty” about. I’ll do that sometimes, just make things for friends or write music just to write it, but I didn’t at all think it would become a song. And she, like an hour later, sent back “Willow” written to that song, and that sort of set [things in motion] and we just started filling this Dropbox again. It was kind of like, “What’s happening?”

 

And then it just kept going. She wrote "Gold Rush” with Jack [Antonoff] and by the end there were 17 songs, and it was only a couple months after Folklore came out, so it’s pretty wild. Each time we would just be in disbelief and kind of like, “How is this possible?” Especially because we didn’t need to talk much about structure or ideas or anything -- it was just this weird avalanche.

 

Considering how industry-shaking Folklore was, what pressure did that introduce this time around?

I think because of how we made it, it really wasn’t like producing some giant record or something, it still had this very homespun feeling to it. There may have been a moment or two when I think Taylor was wondering when and how to put out Evermore, but I think the stronger it became, and as each song came together, it just started to feel like, "This is a sister record -- it’s part of the same current of creativity and collaboration and the stories feel inter-related."

 

And aesthetically, to me, Evermore is wilder and has more of a band dynamic at times. You can feel her songwriting sharpen even more on it, in terms of storytelling, and also just this freedom to make the kinds of songs that were coming. When she started to write in a less diaristic way and tell these stories, I think she found she had this incredible wealth of experience and depth to her storytelling that was quite natural. She could easily make these songs more reflective or blur the lines of what’s autobiographical and what's not in interesting ways. It felt like the most natural thing in the world.

 

Folklore was made entirely remotely, how did that process change for Evermore

This was both. Some of it was remote, but then after the Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions, [Taylor] stayed for quite a while and we recorded a lot. She actually wrote “‘Tis the Damn Season” when she arrived for the first day of rehearsal. We played all night and drank a lot of wine after the fireside chat -- and we were all pretty drunk, to be honest -- and then I thought she went to bed. But the next morning, at 9:00 a.m. or something, she showed up and was like, “I have to sing you this song,” and she had written it in the middle of the night. That was definitely another moment [where] my brain exploded, because she sang it to me in my kitchen, and it was just surreal.

 

That music is actually older -- it’s something I wrote many years ago, and hid away because I loved it so much. It meant something to me, and it felt like the perfect song finally found it. There was a feeling in it, and she identified that feeling: That feeling of… “The ache in you, put there by the ache in me.” I think everyone can relate to that. It’s one of my favorites.

 

Did you watch the Disney+ special?

I’m not a big fan of watching myself -- but I did watch it, and I thought it was beautiful. It’s funny, because it was very DIY in a sense; a tight little small crew was there to do it, nobody was styling us or fixing our hair or anything like that, it’s very authentic. I rehearsed a little bit before, but both of us -- Jack and I -- were pretty much figuring it out as we went.

 

And I think the nice thing is that all of the songs could work like that, and that’s partly a testament to the strength of the album. Without big production tricks or backing vocals or anything like that, the songs stand up, and Taylor just sang the crap out of them. And hanging out with them was so much fun. They’re kind of like siblings almost; they’ve known each other a long time, there’s this quick humor between them.

 

Would you like to do something like that again with Evermore?

I don’t know if you can recreate exactly what we did with Folklore. I haven’t actually talked to anyone about that. But to me, the songs of Evermore would be even more fun to play, because more of them feel like band songs. But, that being said, I won’t be disappointed if we don’t -- there is no plan afoot right now to do that.

 

During an interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Jimmy asked Taylor about the rumors behind Woodvale and if there’s a third album coming, to which she said she’s exhausted. How are you feeling energy wise?

I think we both feel like it was Mission: Impossible -- and we pulled it off. I imagine that we’ll make music together in some ways forever, because it was that sort of chemistry, and I’m so thankful and grateful for what happened, but I think there’s a lot there. It’s not just the two albums, there’s also bonus tracks, and two of my favorite songs aren’t even on this record. We’re not pouring into another one now.

 

I’m going to finish the Big Red Machine album -- I was really very close to finishing it when all of a sudden the Folklore and Evermore vortex opened up, and actually Taylor has been really helpful and involved with that as well — and The National is starting to talk about making music, and I think she’ll probably take a break. But I’m so excited for any future things we might do -- it’s definitely a lifelong relationship. And I’d say the same for all the people who worked on these records, including my brother and everybody who contributed. It’s a really special legacy.

 

 

From Aaron's interview, there's a very good chance Taylor will be on on the next Big Red Machine album. 

 

 

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